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222

the trees straight and rather low, and so swiftly that he had
opportunity for scarcely more than a snap shot. Even as the
explosion first rang in his ears, he saw the dove veer sharply,
as though it had struck an invisible wire, and saw three bits
of feather floating from the spot where the dove had been,
and saw the dove skid sideways in the air, and then, with two
or three wild wingbeats, plunge straight down. With the
old exaltation big within him, he glanced quickly upward to
see if another dove was coming over, and then ran toward the
spot where it had fallen.

It was stone dead. It lay on the gravel, one wing in the
clear water and a small bead of blood on its head and another
at the neck. The beak was slightly parted, as when a bird
lifts its head after taking a sup of water. Mr. Munn, bend-
ing to pick it up, was suddenly seized with revulsion. He
straightened up, almost retching. He averted his eyes from
the dead bird, and leaning on his gun, as from weakness,
stared at the sky.

How empty and deep and steadily clear it was, he thought,
and gazed upward. He left the bird where it lay, one wing
in the water. Some animal, he thought, would find and
devour it. He clambered up the bank, which was steeper
here, and moved hurriedly across the strip of woods toward
the fields. The sheltered, cut-off chamber of the woods was
now, if anything, oppressive and inimical to him. He pushed
his way through the fringe of brush and undergrowth, and
found himself, with relief, on the edge of the open fields. He
began to walk rapidly up the gradual rise toward the house,
which was concealed in its grove. "Something's the matter
with me," he said, hurrying. Then: " Something's the matter,
Fve got to stop this."

Two days later he went to the Burnham place to see May.

Miss Lucy Burnham, one of the two children of General
Sam Burnham, devoted herself to him as long as he lived,
and then, after his death, to his memory. Her mother died
shortly after the return of the General after the war, leaving